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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 11 Hansard (15 November) . . Page.. 3519..


Seniors card-reciprocity scheme

MR MULCAHY: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Disability and Community Services. Minister, has the government taken any action or been involved in any discussions with other jurisdictions in the last year to create a reciprocity scheme to allow ACT seniors cards to be utilised in all states?

MS GALLAGHER: Yes, we have. I cannot recall the exact details of those discussions, but there have been ongoing discussions around state and territory jurisdictions about how to recognise seniors cards across borders. It has been one where there has not been agreement or consistency in the past, but I know that there has been more work done over the past year. I am happy to provide details of those discussions if you are interested.

MR MULCAHY: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Will the ACT government consider taking the lead and call on all other Labor state and territory governments to finally take this relatively easy step in making travelling easier for elderly Canberrans when interstate?

MS GALLAGHER: My understanding is that that has been the ACT's position for some time, but calling on other jurisdictions to do things we can do-whether or not they agree to them is another thing. I understand that the department, and particularly the Office for Ageing, have been pursuing this. There have been numbers of discussions particularly with New South Wales, as it relates to us, to assist this and to try and get agreement around this area.

I understand from my discussions with seniors in the community, certainly through the ministerial advisory council on the ageing and other discussions I have had with seniors groups across the ACT, that this is a real issue for them. Certainly we will keep pursuing it. As I said, we can request but whether they agree is another thing.

Schools-infrastructure upgrades

MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Education and Training. Minister, the commonwealth recently opened a project involving $150,000 worth of upgrades to airconditioning and ICT facilities at Giralang primary school funded through the investing in our schools program. This month the senator for the ACT inaugurated a $143,000 multimedia resource unit at Kambah high school. Minister, what do you propose to do with these assets provided through the investing in our schools program when you close the schools as part of the Towards 2020 program?

MR BARR: I thank Mrs Dunne for the question, the latter part of which is, of course, hypothetical, as we have yet to make any decisions in relation to the Towards 2020 proposal. However, for the benefit of the Assembly, I am happy to outline what has been a joint approach between the ACT department and the commonwealth in relation to investing in our schools program funding. Following some consultation with the ACT department in relation to investments in schools that are proposed for closure as part of the 2020 proposals, the commonwealth has agreed to continue the funding for


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